How does a 19 year old guitarist from New Jersey, a complete unknown, end up with the biggest gig in rock? It was not as complicated as you might think. In fact it was pretty simple. After the dismissal of Jake E. Lee, Ozzy Osbourne was in search of the next generation of guitar greats. But he didn’t have a lot of motivation to begin the daunting job of listening through the 1000’s of demo tapes waiting for his approval. In fact, according to Ozzy himself, it took wife and manager Sharon insisting that he get to work! One day Ozzy says he just decided “ok, let’s do this”. So he stuck his hand in the bag of tapes and randomly pulled out the first one. It just so happens, he was blown away! The tape was that of a 19 year old unknown guitarist from New Jersey named Zakk Wylde. Even though, according to Ozzy, he looked like “another Randy Rhoads clone”, there was something unique about him. Once the two met, he realized he was not at all like Randy, and once he really heard him play there was no question.. this was his new guitarist.  According to Osbourne himself, Zakk’s was the first and only tape he listened to.

Happy Birthday to now former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and current Black Label Society leader Zakk Wylde.

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